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Chromolithograph of a Perspective Building View in Philadelphia by Samuel Sloan, who mainly designed hospitals and insane asylums, and is best known for his writings. (Sloan, Samuel. City and Suburban Architecture. Philadelphia . 1859).
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Resources for the study of American architecture at the American Antiquarian Society include an excellent collection of design books by some of the most renowned architects in American history, as well as architectural drawings, lithographs, engravings, periodicals, and photographs of buildings of many types. AAS welcomes scholars interested in the history of American architecture and we hope this web exhibition serves to highlight these resources.

The works of architects such as Asher Benjamin (1773-1845) , Samuel Sloan (1815-1884), Minard


Lafever (1797-1854), and Charles Bulfinch (1763-1844), among others, can be found in the Society's research library. Among the most important is Asher Benjamin's Country Builder's Assistant (1797), the first original American work on architecture. Benjamin, an early architect from Greenfield, Massachusetts, helped to spread the Classical style of architecture across America. Minard Lafever, who is often credited with the rise of Greek Revival architecture, also wrote on architecture and worked in the Classical style until the 1840s, when he began to promote the Gothic style. A number of his books including The Modern Builder's Guide (1833) and The Architectural Instructor (1856) are part of the Society's collection.

Samuel Sloan, one of the most distinguished nineteenth-century architects, worked in Pennsylvania and was editor of the Architectural Review beginning in 1868. The Society owns issues from 1869 and 1870 of this journal along with his books, including the Model Architect (1852) and City and Suburban Architecture (1859). Published biographies and letters of architects, including those of Sloan and Charles Bulfinch, are also in the collection. Bulfinch, who is credited as the first American-born architect, was the designer of the Massachusetts State House.

Corinthian Base, Capital, and Entablature, with all the moldings, figured for practice; an engraving showing Benjamin's love of Greek architecture, which he helped spread throughout the country after Minard Lafever's writings. (Benjamin, A. Country Builder's Assistant, 1798).

Front Elevation for a Country Residence engraving expressing the beauty of Greek architecture that spread throughout the country in the 1830's.
(Lafever, Minard. Modern Builder's Guide , New York, 1833).

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Much general secondary source material on architecture and biographies of architects are also in the collection, including works about Robert Mills (one of the first American-born architects and designer of Greek Revival), Peter Harrison (early colonial architect), Stephen C. Earle (Worcester architect), and others.

More recent reference books, such as the American Association of Architectural Bibliographer's Papers vols I . XI , which include helpful bibliographies on nineteenth and twentieth century architects, are also part of the Society's holdings.
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